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Give A Man A Fish. And Then Give Him Some Soap

by Ann Brown March 23, 2012

By: Ann Brown

When I tell you that my most exciting news is that I discovered a new recipe for salad dressing, you will understand why I haven’t written lately.

I’ll tell you what: writing a blog is a lot of pressure. Not the writing part, of course, the writing part is great. It’s the having to actually do shit so I can write about it – that’s the bitch of it.

What do other people do with their time? I really have no idea. I mean, I listen. I hear. I recognize words like “skiing” and “concert” and “coast” and I get it that those words are attached to weekends and the people saying them. But what I don’t get is how they do these things. And why. And when they find time to watch TV and check in on Facebook. And make soup. And organize their pajamas drawers so that you can easily grab a matched pajama outfit instead of hunting to find the top that goes with the bottoms.

What? Really? You don’t?

See, that’s the trouble with America. Nobody takes the time to put on a matching pair of pajamas anymore. Me, I put more time into getting dressed for bed than I do into going out during the day.

I shower at night. And I put on matching pajamas. And – if the gods of neurosis are smiling down on me – the sheets are fresh out of the dryer. OMG, I am getting all blissed out just thinking about it. Oh, also, the sheets and pillow cases and comforter are white. And if my pajamas happen to also be white, well, I could have an orgasm just climbing into bed. A nice, clean, white, WASPy orgasm.

Robin, on the other hand, enjoys an evening of sweaty Tai Chi, grilling fish over an open fire, having a bowel movement and then climbing, naked, into bed with me.

Also, sometimes he says he has washed his hands from the fish smell but all he has really done is rinsed them. I know because I spy on him.

And when I tell him in the nicest way possible that he is utterly repulsive and to go wash his hands WITH SOAP, he says, “you can’t smell the fish on my hands.” And then he makes a big deal out of smelling his hands – deeply – so as to prove his point. He often ends it with, “ahhhhh…”

And then the fight begins.

It is one of our best fights. I like to call it, YOU STINK. NO I DON’T. YES I DO. NO I DON’T. Sometimes this fight can go on longer than it would have taken Robin to take off his skin, drop it off at the cleaners and bring it back fresh.

I contend that the person himself (the “smellee”) is not allowed to weigh in on whether or not he smells like fish. Robin’s contention is that I am not really getting to the heart of the matter in my therapy – my need to control.

I don’t know, if I walked around smelling like fish and a person pointed it out to me, I really don’t think I would argue with them. Same as if someone told me I had spinach in my teeth. I wouldn’t challenge the observation. In fact, I would welcome it. Shit like that, I want to know.

I once came home from a six-hour recording session and saw that I had a bigass streak of ketchup on my face. I called my friend Trudy, who had been in the studio with me, and I said, “what the fuck, Trudy? You have been with me all day – why didn’t you tell me I had a bigass streak of ketchup on my face?”

Her answer – probably true – was that she honestly hadn’t noticed. Which begs a pantload of questions about Trudy, but that’s besides the point.

Still, I guess it’s better than when I was eight months pregnant, at the OBGYN and wearing only the sheet, with my feet in the stirrups and the medical student asked my doctor, “why did she take her clothes off and put her feet up if all you are doing today is taking her blood pressure?”

And my doctor said, “she’s been doing it for the past four months. I didn’t want to embarrass her.”

Um, too late for that, Doc.

But at least he didn’t tell me I smelled like fish.

The post Give A Man A Fish. And Then Give Him Some Soap appeared first on The Next Family.

Ann Brown
Ann Brown


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